Song Looking Glass • Performed by Cirith UngolRecorded Fri 20 Oct 2023

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Up-tempo but still moody, “Looking Glass” begins with a shattering mirror and gains steam with trenchant riffs that slither between a multitude of muted chugs. During the understated midsection, the tone turns dusky, and as the tune reaches its pinnacle, with lengthy, blues-based leads. Garven’s drums match the shifting mood beat for beat. “It has the quintessential Ungol slowed down middle section, like ‘Join the Legion’ [from 1991’s Paradise Lost] and ‘War Eternal’ [from 1986’s One Foot in Hell],” says Garven. “I spent quite a lot of time to get the drum fill at the beginning of the solo just perfect.”

“Looking Glass” marks the beginning of a conceptual four-song sequence that introduces listeners to “The Dark Parade,” a visceral and poignant multi-song presentation that leaves little room for happy endings. “Is it a nightmare tale of self-reflection or just another journey through the cracks in our reality and the curse of broken dreams?” asks Baker, shedding a little light on the “darkness” within. “It’s not quite what Lewis Carroll had in mind, but an even more bleak and deadly vision. Alice found that her visions were the complete opposite of her dreams, but here they are one and the same. Will waking dispel the nightmares, or are our waking hours just the extension of them? Once we smash the mirror, there is no turning back.” (Metal Blade)

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